Astaro Mail Gateway 3000
Strengths: Very easy setup. Numerous security and administrative features
Weaknesses: Documentation not available on the device itself
Verdict: Excellent value for organisations looking for a powerful, enterprise-class device
Astaro's Mail Gateway 3000 is an appliance-based email security solution that protects inbound and outbound messaging in a variety of configurations. The device can be deployed as a transparent bridge or as a single interface 'bounce' point that redirects to the primary messaging server. The appliance offers protection for SMTP messages as well as remote connections back to the corporate mail server via secure VPN tunnels.
Installation of the appliance in our test environment was easy and straightforward. The interface of the device takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few minutes you realise there are several keyboard shortcuts - as well as drag-and-drop functionality - that are used to configure and manage the device. After a while, the interface becomes fairly intuitive.
As we used the product, one thing became apparent: the Mail Gateway device is one of the most administrative-friendly devices we have ever seen. It has several granular options to manage key network and system settings. This includes dashboard components that report on the health of the device itself. On top of the core functionality of securing email, an equal amount of time is dedicated to logging, auditing, high availability, automated reporting, alerting and other key administrative tasks. Furthermore, multiple Mail Gateway devices can be managed from one central management console.
All of the typical bells and whistles are here: encryption, content filtering, IP and sender reputation, anti-malware, anti-spam and other key elements. A unique feature is the ability to drill down on the statistics of specific email activity and view security alerts, reports and other granular details on specific items.
Another interesting feature is the built-in VPN capability of the device, which establishes a tunnel for external users who need to securely access corporate email.
Documentation for the device is excellent. Everything you need is contained within a few PDF files, located on the installation media.
Basic 10/5 support for 90 days is included. This covers software updates and hardware replacement. Additional packages include gold and platinum levels that offer expedited support and are available in one-, three- and five-year contracts.